New trends in the modern homeReal Estate Thursday, July 7th, 2016
It makes sense that our homes would change with the times. We live more expansively than we did back in the 1920s and that is reflected in the way we design our homes. I found an interesting set of facts and figures compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and reported in an article in Business Insider on this very subject. It looked at the preferences incorporated in newly constructed single family homes as compared to homes built back in preceding decades. Here are the details:
We want more space. Average floor area has increased. While the median home in 1973 was about 1,500 square feet, today’s median house is around 2,500. Not only do we want more space, we want more rooms. The three bedroom/two bath of yesteryear has been supplanted by a four+ bedroom/three + bath home. Our houses are also taller than they used to be. In 1973 23 percent were two or more stories; in 2015 that number is up to 55 percent. Our cars are bigger too and so too are our garages. They now hold two cars and lots of storage space too.
The good news is that though we like our houses larger, we also want them to be more energy efficient. We want more insulation, energy efficient appliances, windows and generally higher energy star ratings. When it comes to heating fuel, we now prefer the more cost efficient natural gas source.
Basements have gone the way of the typewriter, and slabs are now the foundation of choice. When it comes to walls, we’re happier with vinyl siding and fiber cement than wood. Trees rejoice.
We do like our wood floors on our main levels, and now prefer a full bath on the first floor rather than a powder room. Air conditioning is a must for most with 93 percent installing it in new homes as opposed to only 50 percent in 1973. That tells you how much warmer it has gotten in recent years. Take note climate change deniers!
Another amenity disappearing from favor is the fireplace. In 1983 two thirds of single family homes had them and in 2015, only half. I guess we now get our atmosphere from granite counter tops, marble baths with steam showers and snazzy lighting. Romance has taken a tumble in modern life.
We do still like patios, and 80 percent of folks still like to eat in the kitchen. Walk in pantries are popular, as are ceiling fans, and a full laundry room di rigueur.
So what can we conclude from all of this? Our families have gotten smaller but, with the exception of the small demographic enchanted with tiny houses, we do like our space. We like to spread out and we’re spoiled. We don’t particularly like to share and want our own bathrooms. We want our comfort, and yes, we are feeling entitled. We work hard and want our homes to be havens for comfortable escape from the tensions of daily life.
You might conclude that many of us are doing very well indeed. Let’s all say thank you and enjoy.
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